Racing: Yorkshire the value to take on Tuning

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The Independent Online
A SOCIOLOGY student recently spent months sitting in betting shops studying punters, in order to produce a thesis which turned stating the obvious into an art form. The majority of punters, it seems, lose money in the long run, while others go to the bookies because they have nothing better to do.

Money for old rope, certainly, but worse still was the author's apparent belief that backing outsiders to beat favourites is a poor strategy. In fact, one of the only ways anyone will ever makes serious money from the game is by opposing unworthy favourites with the right alternative. The only problem, of course, is how to decide which is which.

There will be no more dubious favourite for a big race all year, however, than Tuning, who may start as low as 4-1 for the Ebor Handicap at York this afternoon. Though she is relatively unexposed and well-connnected - Henry Cecil, her trainer, won this race with a similar sort of horse in Kneller 10 years ago - she has just a solitary victory, in a Yarmouth maiden, to her name. Finishing runner-up in a French Group Two last time out was a creditable effort, but the ground was very different to the sound surface she will face today.

Good alternatives, of course, are everywhere, but the best of them may be the top-weight, YORKSHIRE (nap 3.10). He was going best of all three furlongs out in the Goodwood Cup, but did not seem to last home. Fourteen furlongs on fast ground from a useful low draw could be just what he needs.

In the Yorkshire Oaks, by contrast, Catchascatchcan (2.35) could upset Shahtoush, the Oaks winner. Mujahid is hard to weigh up in the Gimcrack, but Shadoof (next best 2.05) is worth an interest in the first.

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